A class action suit filed in the Northern District of Illinois alleges a wide-ranging class action objection enterprise aimed at extorting money from class action settlements in exchange for dropping objections. Edelson P.C. alleges that Christopher Bandas (and his firm The Bandas Law Firm PC), Joseph Darrell Palmer (and his firm Darrell Palmer Law Office), C. Jeffrey Thut (and his firm Noonan, Perillo & Thut Ltd) and Gary Stewart conspired to object to class actions settlements (often using supposedly pro se clients) and attempted to extract confidential payments to dismiss those objections. Edelson P.C. claims that the Defendants threaten to delay payment of settlements for years, and that Class Counsels often find it necessary to make these payments to bring the cases to a resolution.
In a case that had implications for a nationwide class of sandwich purchasers, Subway was sued for their failure to properly ensure that their signature “Foot-Long” submarine sandwiches were actually a full 12 inches. Only one serial objector appeared, Ted Frank, who was represented by Adam Schulman, both of the Center for Class Action Fairness. At issue was the way an uncontested settlement amount of $525,000 was distributed amongst class counsel, class representatives, and the class. Given the weakness of the plaintiff’s claims, Defendants, Objector Frank, and the Court all agreed that a larger monetary settlement was unlikely. As laid out in the settlement and affirmed by the Court in the Final Approval, $520,000 was awarded to class counsel and $5,000 was distributed to the named plaintiffs. As this was an injunctive relief-only class, no funds were directed to class members.
In 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Washington, regarding the alleged throttling of Internet speed by Clearwire Corporation. Objectors Gordon Morgan and Jeremy De La Garza, represented by Christopher Bandas, filed the only substantial objection to the settlement.
In April 2015, the National Football League reached a $1 billion settlement with retired players over the NFL’s handling of potential concussions. Over 5,000 former players suffering from brain-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and their families would receive payment. On average, the settlement would pay out $190,000.
In Ohio, a massive multi-district case has been winding through the Court since December 2010. The plaintiffs allege that manufacturers of polyurethane foam products conspired to fix their prices, to the detriment of consumers. In November of 2014, the District Court preliminarily approved a settlement between two manufacturers and Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs. Only one objection was filed to this settlement, by serial objector Michael Narkin. His objection is almost identical to objections he has filed in other cases, with only minor details changed. Furthermore, he does not seem to actually be a member of the settlement class, since he purchased flooring from Costco, making him an Indirect Purchaser, not a Direct Purchaser.